The spring to your door
The couple of angels spent the next half hour in happy chatter while they set the table for dinner. Monica's Irish lilt, her cheerfulness and her graceful manners filled the small apartment with life and much joy and every time Andrew caught himself lost in her lovely gaze and captivating smile, he lifted a silent prayer of thanks for having met the precious little angel on that very night. Had he not been "assigned" to run into her in that deserted street he would probably be alone in that partially dark living room, waiting for the calling for his next assignment. Monica's presence was a gift, a blessing he would be forever thankful.
"...and when Mrs Campbell finally received her exams confirming that she was completely healed, her husband, Timothy, and her daughter, Emily, could not hold their tears of joy. If you ask me, I'd tell that that night they cried themselves to sleep!"
Monica made sure to specify every little detail on her report and Andrew listened everything with genuine interest. He had also busied himself with watching her tidying up the table with infinite care, giving their small "party" the same value of the sophisticated event she had come from. She had loosen her hair from the bun that was part of her "working look" and now her auburn locks cascaded over her shoulders, seeming to gain a special glow and giving her barefoot figure an ethereal air. It was a vision he would never get tired of.
As she finally ended her narrative, the expression on his face was an impressed one. "That's quite a story! According to what you're telling me, this family was truly blessed because a patient who goes through what Mrs Campbell had to face has less chance of surviving the treatment. I mean, she had to overcome a missing son and the consequent depression that followed it, plus the financial crisis in her husband's business and even the threat to lose their house... It's a lot for only a person all at the same time!" The blond angel spoke, placing the plates over the colourful table mat that they had found inside the kitchen cabinet.
"You are perfectly right, Andrew. And things were very hard for her in the beginning, the poor woman didn't even have the strength to get out of her bed, you see." The angel frowned a little at the memory but then a pleased grin soon reappeared on her meek face. "But with perseverance and especially with her faith, she managed to understand that she was not alone and that the Father was always watching over her and her family. Mr Campbell managed to recover part of what was stolen from him and the company won't need to close its doors. And when I revealed myself to them... Well, there was so much of God's light glowing from me that they could not stop their tears..."
Smiling, Andrew nodded his head, picturing the scene himself. "I know exactly how they felt." He said, as she stopped in front of him, pleased that her chore had finally ended. "And just for the record..." The angel of death reached out and placed a strand of her hair behind her ear, eyeing her with enchantment. "...you look just gorgeous when you are in your cosmic form!"
Returning his smile and slightly blushed at hear friend's flattering, Monica held his gaze for a few seconds, as if some more loving words had been exchanged through the brief silence that was made.
The noise of the doorbell interrupted that secret conversation and the little angel offered to answer it while Andrew went to get two cans of ginger ale.
"G'evening, ma'am." The delivery boy greeted her with a smile. He was in his late teens and did not seem bothered to be there at that time of that rainy night.
"Hullo, good evening. Such a night to make a pizza delivery, huh?" She said, immediately showing her natural chatty character.
"Well, yeah, but I don't mind it that much. My girlfriend lives not far from here and I always get the chance to stop by and say hello."
It was evident the dreamy little angel enjoyed hearing that. "Ah, a love escapade in between assignments! That sounds terribly sentimental and romantic to me!"
The boy nodded with amusement. "Sally and I are planning to marry in a couple of years. As soon as I have enough money to get my own business or maybe be associate to the pizza restaurant."
"Well, if you ask me, you already have one of the most important things for an entrepreneur: determination to make things happen!" She said, more and more pleased to see so much affection in the boy's eyes. "Plus, you are making everything start out of much love. If there is love, then there is no way things can go wrong."
"My name is Monica."
He shook hands with her. "I'm James. But everybody calls me J."
"J makes it all very straightforward and uncomplicated."
The radio he was carrying beeped twice, interrupting their conversation and indicating that there was one more delivery to be made. "Sorry, I gotta go."
"It's alright, J. How much do I owe you?"
He checked on the bill that was attached to the pizza box. "That's twenty-three dollars and seventy cents."
Monica handed him the money "Here you are, thirty dollars." And when she took the box, the angel noticed the particular birthmark on the back of his hand. "You can keep the change..." She concluded, her smile slightly fading and the expression on her face became an intrigued one.
"Have a good night, J. And I hope you and Sally can get to meet later!"
As she closed the door, Monica saw a chuckling Andrew standing by the table. He had obviously heard the whole conversation.
"I take it you made a new friend?" He said, taking the pizza box from her hands and placing it over the table.
"Such an adorable young fellow, isn't it, Andrew? And the way he speaks about his Sally... It's always so beautiful to watch two sweethearts so in love! Somehow, it reminded me of Mr and Mrs Campbell just a while ago on the dance hall..."
"Yes, and one of the nicest things in many human beings is when they keep this love fresh as years go by." He said, pulling a chair for her to sit and the sitting right across from her. "And this is the way it should be because love is... well, it's one of the most precious gifts we can receive and we should keep throughout our existence... forever."
Monica returned his warm gaze and tender smile with the same affection; tilting her head, she reached for his hand and inched closer. "I couldn't agree more!"
A moment later, however, the expression on her face changed and a slight frown could be seen on her forehead. "Mrs Campbell..."
She looked back at Andrew's questioning face and after a few brief moments of silence, the angel finally spoke again. "Mrs Campbell had a son, Andrew: a wee boy who disappeared many years ago, and she and her husband searched for him everywhere they could, but never knew what happened to him..."
The angel of death nodded cautiously, aware that she was still formulating a whole line of thought. "Yes... You told me that..."
"I'm under the impression that only now I really accomplished my assignment!"
"What do you mean, Monica?"
"I think I found him! I think I found Mrs Campbell's missing son!"
"You did? But when? Where?"
"Right here at your door! He's the pizza boy!"
A week later...
She was back at the Campbell's mansion, but now it was past five o'clock of a bright sunny day. In the living room, the Irish angel watched with tear-filled eyes as James, the pizza delivery boy, gave a few steps ahead with a shy smile and finally let his mother hold him tightly. Mrs Campbell then cried all the tears she had been hiding over the last 15 years, when a stranger took her little boy away from her in a crowded shopping center. The boy ended up in an orphanage and grew up without knowing who his parents were nor that they were quite close to him, living in the same city all that time.
At the moment the family received the angel's visit on the morning that followed Mrs Campbell's birthday they were extremely curious. But when Monica explained what she was doing there and especially when she showed them James' childhood records, they felt that they had been twice blessed. A week of anxiety had passed after that wonderful piece of news had been announced and now the family was finally reunited.
Mr Campbell and Emily soon joined the affectionate embrace and also cried with emotion to finally have back their beloved son and brother. Sally, James' girlfriend, stood by Monica's side and was equally moved to see the family all together.
"The half-moon birthmark Emily has in the back of her hand – James has it too. I noticed it at the moment he handed me the pizza box."
"They're twins... We pointed out his birthmark as a clue but... the police and private detectives we hired could not find him anywhere..." Timothy Campbell spoke, trying hard to hold his emotion.
"That is because the woman who took James away took him out of the state on that same day. He would be sold to a foreigner couple who wanted to adopt a boy with his characteristics. But the plan did not work and she had to leave him in an orphanage's door as she was afraid to be caught by the police." Monica recalled.
"I never thought I'd get to meet my real parents, you see... I thought they were already dead and then I decided that I'd get to form my own family." The boy spoke, his mother and his sister remaining by their side, arms wrapped up with his own.
"My son... my little boy is back and look at this: he grew up to be a handsome young man who is already thinking about forming his own family!" Mrs Campbell spoke, gently caressing his face and then looking at Sally, who smiled shyly.
"We grew up at the same street – he at the orphanage and me living with my parents just a block away, and have known each other since we were little. I love your son very much, Mrs Campbell."
"I can see it in your eyes, Sally. Timothy and I want you to know that from now on you are part of this family too!"
"And we don't know how to thank you enough again, Monica!" Emily spoke, "You brought us hope, reassurance and our faith back. And now you gave me back my brother!"
The girl let go of James' arm for a moment and held the angel's hands. "Thank you, Monica. Thank you one more time!"
The Irish angel bid the family goodbye and left the mansion with her heart fluttering with much joy. She passed by the streets and alleys and ended up in a stone lane that boarded the city park, where nature was blooming in all its splendour with the spring time. And there, resting his arms over a railing that surrounded the lake, the blond angel could feel her presence getting closer. The two angels searched for each other but it was Andrew who spotted her not far from where he was. Beautiful auburn locks were now flying up with the gentle breeze and framing her lovely face – meek Gaelic features soon coming into view along with her graceful silhouette. The hat she was wearing, along with her flowered dress and light purple sandals, composed her look and gave more emphasis to her elegant and stunning figure.
He chuckled at the fact that she was slightly lost, judging by the way her eyebrows knitted together in adorable confusion, and he admired her in secret for a few instants.
And even being geographically challenged, the little angel seemed to feel his gaze; her soft brown eyes meeting his sparkling green ones moments later, when a smile graced her face. Andrew waited for her to come up to him – in his "selfishness" he wanted to take every moment to marvel at the most beautiful of God's creations as she walked along the stone path and finally reached him.
"Judging by the beautiful smile on this pretty face of yours, I take it the assignment ended quite well!" He said, taking her hand in both of his and kissing its back.
"It was splendid, Andrew! It's been a while since I last saw such a happy family all together! Mr and Mrs Campbell, Emily and even Sally, who I know is already their daughter too... there were so many tears of happiness!"
The blond angel nodded, still holding her hand firmly into his and enjoying to see her enthusiasm. "I know how it feels to end an assignment in such a perfect way."
She stopped walking and looked up at him with admiration. "And if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have found their long time missing son!"
Without giving him time to refuse her praise and gratitude, Monica stood on the tip of her toes and kissed his cheek with tenderness. "Thank you!"
Chuckling, he let go of her hand and wrapped his arm around her shoulders, bringing her closer to him while they resumed their walk. "You see, while I was here waiting for you, I was wondering if you're busy this evening."
"Actually, I have just been told that I can take this evening off!" She gladly informed him. "What about you?"
"I'd say it's a coincidence we have boon been granted with some time off exactly on the same day!" He said, finding her excitement rather cute. "But we know there is no such thing as a coincidence!"
"So you don't have any assignments?"
"Nope. And I also made a private investigation, with James' help, to know the pizza restaurants where we can find the best mocha pizzas in town!"
With a wide-eyed childish expression on her face, she looked up at him. "You did?"
"Yep." He purposefully did not speak again, despite the curiosity that was burning in the spark of her sweet doe-like eyes.
With some annoyance at his suspense, Monica interrupted their stroll. "And?"
Highly amused, he looked back at her with a mischievous smile. "I think you'll want to come with me!" Saying that, he wrapped his arm around her waist and they disappeared a second later.
"Sunsets from here are always lovely. But watching as the day slowly fades into hues of yellow and orange and the first stars come into view while you are savouring this delicious mocha pizza is one of the best experiences of my existence, Andrew!" The little angel spoke, comfortably snuggling close to him in the sofa placed on the porch of a cozy little cabin up in the mountains, a refuge used by angels whenever they were on Earth but on a break from their regular duties.
There, they had spent quite pleasant hours in each other's company and with a table filled with some "provisions" for the night: to Monica a mocha pizza, a double mocha latte bottle and coffee cupcakes for desert. Andrew, on his side, was pleased with the mozzarella and pepperoni pizza, ginger ale and good piece of chocolate cake.
The remains of their extravaganza still rested on the coffee table, which had also been moved to the porch.
"I told you I had an expert's help!"
"And it was indeed a great help." The Irish angel straitened her body in order to look up at him. "Aren't you just a wee bit curious to know what this wonderful mocha pizza tastes like? You see, I can share the last piece with you."
"Hum... You must really like me to be willing to share the last piece of your mocha pizza!" He joked, eliciting another grin from her. But on the following moment, he put on a mock stern expression on his face. "But...No, thanks!"
Looking a bit insulted now, she shook her head in disapproval. "You don't know what you are missing!" Then, the Irish angel returned to her comfortable accommodations, resting her head over his shoulder, unaware of his amusement at her slight pout. Looking at the almost finished coffee cupcakes, she frowned a little. "I just worry about what Tess will say when she finds about this adorable mocha dinner..."
With his left eyebrow raised, Andrew gave his shoulders a light shrug. "She doesn't have to know." Noticing his mischief, she turned to look at him and returned his smile as he winked at her; no words were spoken once they seemed to be in a silent conversation.
Blushing a little, and still finding his sneaky behaviour somewhat enchanting, she held his gaze for a few moments. Then, she rested her head over his shoulder one more time and closed her eyes, heaving a pleased sigh. "Actually, I don't think Tess will be here anyway, it's getting late."
Smiling, Andrew started to stroke her hair in a slow movement with the tip of his fingers. "Yes, and I wonder if there are some sleepy angels around here..." He spoke against her ear, purposefully lowering his voice as he knew she wouldn't take too long before falling asleep in his arms.
Monica let out a small giggle at his words and opened her eyes to look at him again. "There might be one, I confess... After all, it's all very comfortable here."
Pleased to hear that, and not having enough of her sweet character, he bent down and kissed the tip of her nose. "Be my guest, baby!"
"And what about you?"
"Well, I'm quite comfortable too and doing just fine with you right here in my arms!"
She tilted her head, eyeing him with a mix of gratitude, tenderness and love. "You are always doing and telling me the sweetest things, Andrew."
"I believe this might be because I love you very much."
Her lips curved in a sleepy smile. "It's been a while since I've realised you have my love too. But sometimes I'm under the impression I don't show you not even half of what I feel..."
He dared to tighten the loving embrace around her shoulders and kissed her temple. "Have you forgotten that for many times you were my angel?"
"Not as many as I would like to..."
"Well, we'll have the whole eternity to fix this out!" Andrew took her hand to his lips. "You are the best reminder of God's love, baby. And whenever we meet, it's like you're bringing the spring to my door. So all you have to do is let me hold you like this. It's what I always pray for: a chance to be with you again."
"I think the Father won't have any problem answering to your prayers! And..." she lowered her voice. "...these are my prayers too!"
Holding onto each other, the two angels in human form remained there for a while, until Andrew realised his beloved friend had finally lost the battle against sleep. With infinite care, he took her in his arms and carried her to inside the house up to her room. Once she was placed in bed, the angel of death chuckled at the fact that he did not need to remove her shoes, as it had been one of the first things she did when they got at the cabin. Andrew placed a warm blanket over her and kissed her forehead.
"I hope you can dream, baby. Only the sweetest dreams!"
Watching as a smile formed on her lips, he smiled too – her joy meant an assignment brilliantly fulfilled. Andrew remained sitting on the edge of her bed for a while, still holding her hand. But when he threatened to leave, she tightened the hold around his hand and he knew he had lost a battle now. Slowly, not to wake her up, he took his place next to her and soon Monica let go of her pillow to rest her head over his chest. The silence of a peaceful night with a full moon and sparkling stars lulled the sleep of the two angels in human form.